Rehman may face ban for drugs
KARACHI – Abdur Rehman, the Pakistan left-arm spinner, is facing a ban after failing a drugs test during his stint with Somerset in the English domestic season. It is believed the drugs were recreational and not performance enhancing.
Reports first emerged in the Pakistan media and it is understood that a formal announcement is due to be made within the next 24 hours.
Rehman, 32, played four Championship matches for Somerset and took 27 wickets, which included 9 for 65 against Worcestershire, and flew straight back from Pakistan’s one-day series against Australia in the UAE to play the match against Sussex.
He was expected to join a Sialkot Stallion conditioning camp this week at the National Cricket Academy ahead of the Champions League Twenty20 but did not turn up to join the squad. Sialkot are set to fly to South Africa on October 7 to play a qualifying round of the tournament starting on October 9 in Johannesburg.
Rehman has established himself as key player over the past year and caused England plenty of problems during the Test series in UAE, where he claimed 19 wickets in three matches. Overall he has 81 wickets in 17 Tests at 28.40 apiece.
Ballack decides to call it quits
BERLIN – Former Germany captain Michael Ballack has retired from professional football at the age of 36. Ballack has been without a club since his contract with Bayer Leverkusen ran out at the end of last season.
He represented his country 98 times and also played for Bayern Munich, Kaiserslautern and Chelsea in a 17-year career.
“The last few months without playing football have shown me that the time had come to give it up,” he said. Ballack became a free agent at the end of June after Leverkusen failed to offer their former captain a contract extension, and he announced today his decision to bring his professional career to an end, despite interest from clubs in Australia.
Ballack won the first of his four Bundesliga medals with Kaiserslautern in 1998, and was a league title winner three times in four years with Bayern Munich between 2002 and 2006.
He then moved to Premier League side Chelsea in May 2006, where he won the Premier League, the FA Cup three times and the League Cup.
Bin Hammam’s colleague not helping FIFA officials
DOHA – An official who works for Mohamed Bin Hammam has been suspended from all football-related activity for failing to cooperate with an investigation into the former FIFA presidential candidate, the governing body said today.
Najeeb Chirakal, who works for the Qatar FA, has been banned by FIFA’s ethics committee for two months or until he cooperates with the proceedings, whichever comes first.
“The ban is effective immediately and will last for two months or until Chirakal cooperates with these proceedings as requested, whichever is earlier,” FIFA said in a statement.
Bin Hammam is being investigated over alleged bribery claims during his campaign to unseat FIFA president Sepp Blatter in last year’s presidential election.
The 63-year-old Qatari also faces allegations of financial mismanagement in his role as Asian Football Confederation president.
Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing.
Chirakal had been asked to provide information and documents by the secretary to the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee but failed to respond, the FIFA statement added.